Nazareth is the biggest Arab City in the Galilee. Despite its significance in Christianity, most of its current population is Muslim. Nazareth’s main holy Christian sites are between the Old City’s spring and the Church of Annunciation. The Watchman episode was only a short presentation of the city, filmed at Mount of Precipice. I hope to return to Nazareth with Erick for a full episode, as it has much to offer.
Nazareth is a significant pilgrimage destination for Christians. Its main attraction, in the heart of the city, is the Church of Annunciation. By Christian tradition, it is built over the home of Mary. Here, by Christian faith, Jesus was conceived. The current church was completed in 1969. It has a distinct “eclectic-brutalist” design, reflecting the period it was built. Its courtyard and interior walls are adorned with dozens of icon offerings and gifts from Catholic communities all around the globe. The current church is built over previous churches and other finds whose remains were uncovered in the 1950s.
In one of the alleys behind the church, is the Synagogue-Church. This is said to be the site of the first century synagogue, where Jesus preached for the first time on his messianic role (Luke 4). The Greek-Orthodox maintain another church near the city’s spring. By Apocryphal tradition, the angel also appeared to Mary in the spring.
Nazareth is also a great site to sample the Israeli-Arab cuisine. It is famous for its cheese based dessert knafeh, and the best kebab ever!